Essay on The Connection Between Music and Religion

Essay on The Connection Between Music and Religion

Length: 1078 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

It is impossible to assume that music and religion are not linked in some way or another in any society or culture on earth. This is not to say that all religions embrace the use of music in their worship to their god or gods, in fact it is quiet the opposite. While some religions use music to praise and worship, other religions believe music diverges the attention of followers away from their god, and even see it as a tool of the devil.

Let's first identify some cultures that embrace music into their religion and beliefs, as most religions do. In Malagasy society (Madagascar) negative attributes such as sickness are often associated with spirits. To identify these bad spirits the people hold ceremonies, Tremba, to communicate with the spirits through a medium. The ceremony begins with music and is accompanied by participation from others to call the spirit out. "Increased hand-clapping called rumba and shouts of encouragement are specially suited to call the spirit out." (Schmidhafer, p. 4). When the spirit has entered the medium the music stops and the spirit greets the people surrounding him and answers question. More music is played between questions to the spirit and again when the spirit exits the medium.

Another similar ceremony, called bilo, is held to heal the sick by dancing. It is believed that these ceremonies would hold no purpose and would not allow communication with the spirits if it were not for the music. "The musicians are the ones that induce the trance; even the most competent healer cannot do any good without the musicians." (Schmidhafer, p. 5).

Other cultures, mainly in South Asia, also use music in trance ceremonies to communicate with the spirit world. Nepoli Shaman use music in t...


... middle of paper ...


...pecific needs of the participants in the ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony the music may start off slow and mellow. As time progresses, the tempo and volume will increase to lure the spirit into the medium's body. When the spirit and medium become one the music may stop abruptly or became very soft, until it is time for the spirit to leave again.

Works Cited

Ellingson, Ter. "Music and Religion." Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Collier MacMillan. New York: MacMillan, 1987.

Roche, David. "Music and Trance." Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Ed. Alison Arnold. 5 vols. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 2000.

Schmidhofer, August. "The Great Island."

Shiloah, Amnon, Music in the World of Islam : A Socio-cultural Study. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1995.

Storr, Anthony. Music and the Mind. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Connections Between Mathematics And Music Essay examples

- Abstract—Music is the art of combining sounds to produce a composition having rhythm, melody, or harmony. Mathematics is the scientific study of numerical patterns, quantity, and space. By the definitions of music and mathematics one tends to separate the two fields into separate categories. However, music and mathematics have more in common than one may think. From reading musical notes to the wavelengths of sounds, mathematics is always a part of music. This paper will focus on the connections between mathematics and music....   [tags: Music, Sound, Musical notation, Fourier series]

Good Essays
2429 words (6.9 pages)

History of Religion in India Essay

- Ancient India has lots of rich history from the first settlers, the Aryans and Vedic ages, the great religions and to the Mauryan Empire. I will focus on the three major Religions to come from India: Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. I will explain the origins of all three religions and further compare their similarities as well as their differences between them. The practice of all three religions still today in countless countries proves the importance of this history. Jainism, Founded by Varhamana Mahavira in 520 B.C.E., Son to chief of state....   [tags: Religion ]

Good Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

A Note on Music Genres Essay

- Over the past century music change has been based on the influence of people and technology. The changes in technology have influenced the way music is listened to and the instruments in that time period that make the sounds. The sound of the music links directly to the likes and dislikes, which brings us to the influence of the people. Every aspect of a person has an effect. You must take into account what they are feeling and what their lifestyle is. Then the next step is to look at the influence on their lifestyle....   [tags: popular music curation,]

Good Essays
745 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Cultural Commodification Of Religion

- Modern religious life often operates without the formal direction of religious organizations. The cultural commodification of religion means that religious symbolization, including ritual, is available widely and no longer only exclusively from or through religious institutions or organizations. Today, several gay, lesbian, transgender and queer people have experienced spirituality and spiritual guidance within several religious practices and expressions outside of western religious institutions and organizations....   [tags: Religion, Native Americans in the United States]

Good Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Sensation America: Electric Dance Music Concerts Essay

- Upon entering the Barclays Center in New York’s Brooklyn this past November, I was engulfed, mesmerized. Sensation America is one of the many Electric Dance Music concerts emerging around the U.S., in what some call a cult-like revolution. I stepped into the stadium and into confetti, pyrotechnics, lights, makeup, the modern day go-go dancers; an entirely transformed and alternate universe. My primary goal in attending a concert like this was pure interest and curiosity, experiencing and witnessing something that was relatively alien to me....   [tags: dance music, sensation america, edm movement]

Good Essays
1252 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about The Importance of Music Education

- Opening the invigorating article, “Why Music Education. 2007” having so many atrocities pulling the world apart, music is a great way for bringing people together (9). Diagnosed with a severe case of autism and blindness at birth, Derek Paravacini is viewed as a music savant. He has the extraordinary ability to play a music piece after just hearing it. Derek has been engrossed by the piano since the age of two and has been performing around the world since the age of nine. From studying various music genres, at age 32 he his able to transform an elegant classical piece into an upbeat jazz piece....   [tags: Education]

Good Essays
1930 words (5.5 pages)

Religion Is The Most Natural State Of One 's Mortal Self Essay

- Religion is a drive to better understand ourselves and access something beyond the ephemeral intellectual grasp. The timeline of religion dates back all the way to circa 223,000 BCE, where we can see evidence of performed funerary ceremonies.(citation) It seems that people have always tried to understand why some religious customs where implicated or even exist to begin with. In "Homo Religiosus," the author, Karen Armstrong, uses examples of historical evidence to try and give the reader her best definition of religion....   [tags: Religion, Mythology, Joseph Campbell]

Good Essays
1359 words (3.9 pages)

Indian Music Essays

- Indian Music The music of India is one of the oldest unspoken musical traditions in the world. The basis of for Indian music is “sangeet.” Sangeet is a combination of three art forms: vocal music, instrumental music (Indian music). Indian music is base upon seven modes (scales). It is probably no coincidence that Greek music is also base upon seven modes. Furthermore, the Indian scales follow the same process of modulation (murchana) that was found in ancient Greek music. Since Greece is also Indo-European, this is another piece of evidence for the Indo-European connection (Dance and music of India)....   [tags: Music History Musical Arts Essays India]

Good Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Influence Of Classical Music On Modern Music Essay

- The Influence of Classical Music on Modern Music Classical music has a big impact in today’s music; modern music is influenced by music from the Classical, Baroque and Romantic eras. Many of today’s modern songs are inspired or even copied from music of this periods, and even when we don’t realized by listening to modern popular songs we are actually listening in some way to music composed by famous composers of the classical periods of music, that’s why I believe that without the creative intellect of famous composers such as Bach, Chopin, Shubert, Beethoven and many others modern music that we know today it would not exist because many songs are a result of the evolution of music, and thei...   [tags: Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart]

Good Essays
1292 words (3.7 pages)

Religion as Expressed in Art, Music and Literature Essay

- Salvador Dali, born in Spain in 1904, was one of world's most famous Surrealist artists. His work is popular amongst modern society as well as art enthusiasts and often interweaves bizarre and thought-provoking ideas with abstract images, many of these symbolising dreams and fantasies. His paintings explore the connection between reality and fantasy, and he once described his own work as "hand painted dream photographs". His exploration of fantasy and subconscious is pronounced clearly in "The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper", painted in 1955....   [tags: Visual Arts Paintings Art]

Good Essays
2453 words (7 pages)